Imperial College London

Professor Stephen Skinner

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

CeresPower/RAEng Research Chair in Electrochemical Devices



+44 (0)20 7594 6782s.skinner




206GoldsmithSouth Kensington Campus





My research interests centre on the properties and structures of ion conducting oxides, with emphasis on the identification and characterisation of new materials using in- situ high temperature techniques such as x-ray and neutron powder diffraction techniques, secondary ion mass spectrometry and low energy ion scattering. This work has potential applications in the development of solid oxide fuel cell, electrolysis and permeation membranes and more has been identified as having application in the field of novel solid state gas sensors. To complement the work carried out within the department my research group is involved in many international collaborations, both in the UK and abroad. In collaboration with the University du Maine, Le Mans, France we reported the first oxide ion diffusion coefficients for the exciting new class of oxide ion conductor, La2Mo2O9 . Links with Tokyo Institute of Technology focused on oxide and and proton conductivity in the hexagonal perovskites, whilst there is a continuing relationship with I2CNER, Kyushu University, Japan focusing on ion transport. Further, we have strong international links with groups involved in ion conducting technologies, including CNRS labs in Grenoble and Bordeaux, IREC in Barcelona and Koblenz. In the field of sensor materials we have had fruitful collaborations with Southside Thermal Sciences Ltd. (Phosphors), and with Professor Ivan Parkin, University College London (metal oxides). The work on phosphor based materials continues through our work with Sensor Coating Systems, Ltd. on developing new materials and understanding their luminescent behaviour.

A significant interest is in the understanding of degradation mechanisms and durability of electroceramic devices. In order to achieve this we are using a suite of in-situ techniques and developing new capability to characterise cells under operating conditions. This was a multi-institution effort including partners at University College London, University of St Andrews  and University of Newcastle.  Further work on degradation has been funded by Praxair Inc., to develop understanding or permeation membranes, and an international project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, was concerned with surfaces and interfaces in electrochemical cells.  The results from these collaborations have led to a Supergen H2FC EPSRC award to investigate the control of strain in electrochemical devices, in collaboration with Diamond Light Source.    

We have also developed new industrial collaborations with leading companies including Ceres (solid oxide cells) and LiNa Energy (Na batteries). 


Dr Udo Schwingschlogel, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, 2012

Dr Samir Boulfrad, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, 2012

Professor John Kilner, Imperial College London, SOFCs

Professor Alan Atkinson, Imperial College London, SOFCs

Professor Nigel Brandon, Imperial College London, SOFCs

Prof Tim White/Dr T Baikie, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Synthesis and crystallography of complex superstructured oxides

Professor Hailei Zhou, University of Science and Technology, Beijing, New materials for fuel cell electrodes

Prof M. Yashima, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Dr Mona Bahout, University de Rennes

Dr Dan Brett and Dr Paul Shearing, University College London, Multiscale in-situ characterisation of fuel cells

Prof Ian Metcalfe, University of Newcastle, Multiscale in-situ charactersiation of fuel cells

Professor Colin Greaves, University of Birmingham

Dr Philippe Lacorre, Universite du Maine, Le Mans

Dr Peter Slater, University of Birmingham

Prof John Irvine and Dr C Savaniu, University of St Andrews, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Oxygen permeation membreanes

Dr Gisele Amow, NRC Canada

Professor Ivan Parkin, UCL

Guest Lectures

High Performance Electrolytes for Solid Oxide Electrochemical Cells, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India, 2012

Complex oxide materials as potential SOFC electrodes: new routes to high performance cells?, Universite de Rennes, Rennes, France, 2012

Superstructure, thin films and interstitial oxides: potential for high performance oxide ion conducting materials for IT-SOFCs, 1st WCAM Conference, Beijing, Beijing, China, 2012

Superstructure, thin films and interstitial oxides: potential for high performance oxide ion conducting materials for IT-SOFCs, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China, 2012

Ceramic Fuel Cell Electrolytes and Ion Conducting Solids, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China, 2012

Interstitial oxides: potential for ion transport, oxygen reduction and hydrogen evolution, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK, 2012

Electrochemical systems and long duration experiments:durability studies, Diamond Light Source, Didcot, UK, 2012

Phase evolution in composite oxides for energy applications, Zing Conference on Solid State Chemistry, Lanzarote, Spain, 2012

Advanced techniques and materials for energy applications, Loyola College, Chennai, Chennai, India, 2012

Thin film mixed conducting oxides for SOFCs, Loyola College, Chennai, Chennai, india, 2012

Novel complex fast ion conductors: challenges for crystallographers and spectroscopists!, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 2012

Conductivity and redox behaviour in novel superstructured oxides, USTB Beijing, Beijing, China, 2011

Ceramic Fuel Cell Electrolytes and Ion Conducting Solids, USTB Beijing, Beijing, China, 2011

A Researchers view of Scientific Publishing, STM Journal Workshop, STM, London, 2011

Conductivity and redox behaviour in novel superstructured oxides, EMRS-MRS Joint Energy Meeting, Nice, France, 2011

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, ENSC Lille, Lille, France, 2011

Reversible fuel cells - a route to efficient H2 production and storage, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, 2011

Chemical reactivity and diffusion in oxides for high temperature electrochemcial devices, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, 2011

Ionic mobility in novel materials for solid oxide fuel cells: new structural solutions, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 2010

New materials advances for solid oxide fuel cells, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China, 2009

Fuel Cell Technology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 2009

Research Staff









Dr Lacey Zhao,AV

Dr Renata Ayres Rocha,AV





van den Bosch,C

Research Student Supervision

An,Y, Controlled microstructure of SOFCs

Araguas Rodriguez,A, The Development of Thermal Memory Materials for Mission Critical Components

Bayliss,R, Possible superstructured oxides as fast ion conductors

Blanc,R, Thermal history sensors for high temperature applications

Brooks,I, Combinatorial synthesis of fuel cell materials

Broux,T, Electrical properties of double perovskites

Castillo,D, Understanding key processes governing luminescence temperature memory coating systems

Cazaux,G, Oxynitride niobates as potential photocatalysts

FAWCETT,L, Anode development for high temperature steam electrolysers

Guo,J, Nanoparticle exsolution in layered ruthenates

Harrington,G, Thin film oxides for SOFCs

Harris,C, Novel electrolytes for Solid oxide fuel cells

Inprasit,T, Evaluation of novel SOFC electrodes using isotopic labelling

Lew,M, Layered thin film oxides for SOFC/SOECs

Li,C, Development of interstitial containing oxide ion electrolytes

Li,K, Characterisation of novel fuel cell electrodes

Liu,J, Diffusion in La2Mo2O9 type electrolytes

Munnings,C, Novel Synthesis of New Oxide Ion Conductors

Niania,M, LEIS studies of SOFC cathodes

Packer,R, Development of REMO4 oxide ion conductors

Raj,A, Development of Anode Materials for Electrocatalytic Sytnthesis of HCN

Sayers,R, Novel Perovskite Related Cathodes for ITSOFCs based

Sha,Z, Effect of humidity on the diffusion and surface exchange of OTM materials

Shen,Z, Optimisation of dual phase composite ceramic membranes

Shih,P-C, Novel materials for electrode materials

Soorie,M, Ce doped Nd2CuO4 as a fuel cell cathode

Stuart,P, Development of ceramic proton conducting electrolysers

Tsai,C-Y, Evaluation of layered oxide composites as electrolysis anodes

Wang,V, Cathodic Electrodeposition of Ceramic Oxide Films

Wang-Koh,YM, Proton Conductivity in La2Mo2O9

Williams,N, Ion transport in ceria

Wong,C, Degradation of composite ceramic membranes

Woolley,R, In-situ characterisation of SOFC cathodes

Wu,K-T, Deposition of thin film Ruddlesden-Popper phases for SOFC cathodes

Yatoo,M, Layered perovskite electrodes for IT-SOFCs

Zhou,Y, Ionic transport in NdBaInO4 based materials

van den Bosch,C, Oxygen reduction catalysts for Li batteries